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Lake Riviera Dams to be Replaced

State ordered dam replacements, Brick official says

Brick will spend about $1.5 million – half of which will be funded by the state – to replace two dams in Lake Riviera.

The move was approved at the Nov. 22 township council meeting, which will allow Marlin Construction Services of Jackson to begin performing the work to replace the Lake Riviera Dam and the Rainblow Lake Dam, both of which control the water level of Lake Riviera as it flows to Kettle Creek.

The dams are not necessarily in disrepair, said Business Administrator Scott Pezarras, but the state is requiring that Brick replace them because they are "earthened" dams. Pezarras said after major floods hit the state about seven years ago, a study was ordered to be completed on all of the state's dams, and earthened dams were placed high on a list of priorities.

The remainder of the cost of the project after the $700,000 from the state will be paid for under the township's capital budget, Pezarras said. Township officials are also negotiating over the price of easements that will be required for the new dams.

"We're in the process of negotiating those easements now," Pezarras said.

The dams themselves control the flow of water in the tidal lake, which eventually runs to Kettle Creek which, in turn, runs to Barnegat Bay. One of the dams controls the water level in a spillway behind an apartment complex on Brick Boulevard which backs up the lake, and another control the water which flows under Brick Boulevard.

Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 01:58 PM
I find it ironic that the tax payers have to foot a big part of the bill. I think the homeowners in the affected area should be assessed a value and pay the bill. When I have to replace my bulkhead, I’m fully responsible. – Not the Brick taxpayers. I get no breaks what so ever. Our system is truly unbalanced and bias.
Red December 01, 2011 at 02:12 PM
So you think taxpayers should pay for your bulkhead repairs on your private property because the town will pay for repairs to an earthen dam on a public lake? Brilllllllliant.
Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Red, why not? There are a lot of private homes along this lake as well. What makes them deserve a break. A lot of what happens in the Bay or the Metedeconk watershed affects me and others in the same way. Commercial development in Brick forces excessive run off and other problems. Who is going to pay when the community of Sandy Point and others continue to flood? The water levels are rising, the river is silting in, I could go on. I’m tired of paying for the sins of developers and others. There should be grants given across the board to aid owners of threatened properties. If you disagree, then the affected property owners in and near Lake Riviera are the ones who should fit the bill. It can’t be both ways.
Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 03:41 PM
By the way, I live on a public waterway/recreational area similar to Lake Riviera and much busier with recreational traffic. Why should I be treated any differently? Riddle me this?
Red December 01, 2011 at 04:08 PM
First off, the article says that the state ordered it. The article makes it clear that the dams are used to control water flow, not protect waterfront homes like your bulkhead. If the article said that the town was going to build bulkheads to protect homes, then you would have a case but right now you are making an enormous stretch. But hey, I know a pretty easy way to avoid paying for repairs to bulkheads. Ready for it....DON'T BUY A WATERFRONT HOME. Simple.
tuna stick December 01, 2011 at 04:15 PM
who pays for it is a good conversation. There's a small amount of people benifitting from the project, yet all taxpayers are contributing. Moreover, my question would be, irf there is not rush to fix it, why go out and spend the $1.5 M. Even if the state is chipping in half, that's still a chunk of change that the taxpayers have to ante up. I always think the politicians just don't know what it's like for the normal Joe. When things are tough on a family, they cut back on expenses. When things are tough on government, they raise taxes, Must be nice to know there's this bottom-less pit of money, heh guys.
Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Thanks Red... Sorry to sound so gruff. I do enjoy my waterfront home/property. I'm guessing in the near future there is going to be an issue with the hundreds of low laying waterfront properties in Brick especially the lagoon and bay front/back bay properties. It is a future problem which is going to have a huge impact locally. I'm one of the lucky few whose house is in a high and dry area, but as with any waterfront property you always have extra maintenance. It is unfortunate that what happens up river impacts everyone down river. I agree with you that I would never want to purchase a waterfront home in an area prone to flooding. Yet there are many fools who do. I’m just upset that some are given "special" breaks while others have to fit the bill on their own. Everyone should be offered the same grants/breaks.
Sal Petoia December 01, 2011 at 08:00 PM
The key words in the article are, "The dams are not necessarily in disrepair...". If true, then we are not facing an imminent collapse. And wasn't the dam repaired several years ago after a washout? A more prudent approach would be to save the township's $800,000 input, have a real engineering assessment done on the dam to determine projected life, and then create a sinking fund in which money could be placed annually to replace the dam when it is really necessary. If possible, maybe the state can put their share of the money up to begin the fund immediately. This way, the township would not be paying interest on any bonds and the money will be available when it is time to replace the dam. I'm almost certain, however, that there will be a response here that says it can't be done that way. Another alternative: since the state is mandating the replacement, the state should pick up the entire tab.
Concerned Brick Citizen December 01, 2011 at 09:57 PM
I wonder if our Township "so called" engineering firm Birdsall can weigh in on this problem. They are making tons of money at the tax payers expense. Let us hear from them. I want to know their take on this issue.
commoncents December 02, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Do you have anything better to do than piss and moan on patch all the time? Like really go do something with yourself.
Scott Pezarras December 02, 2011 at 01:45 AM
Sal This is the State again the DEP had to approve the project, we tried to go with a lesser cost design the DEP said no. This initiative came from the State after the dams broke in Wayne and Pomptan Lakes I believe. The State threatened to take back grant and fine the Twp if we didn't move forward with their design.
clamdigger December 02, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Hello CBC, Look at it this way, the state is putting up half the funds necessary. You feel it is unfair those living adjacent to the Lake Riv area are getting a break, how do you think people from other parts of NJ feel when their tax $$ are applied to projects like this benefitting a samll area outside their neighborhoods & own towns? I hate most socialialized projects and wonder why the sudden urgency for this one, especially after reading the work isn't an absolute necessity at this time, but I am a firm believer in preventive maintence. So, that being said it's an unfortunate circumstance we have, but when the state steps in and mandates the work, we don't really get an option to fight it....and if we did fight it, and then for some reason the dam fails in the future w/o the work being done as the state wanted where are we then? We're up a certain creek as the saying goes, then what do we do and what would the financila obligation be then.
Mrs. G. December 02, 2011 at 10:47 AM
I am glad the state stepped in so the right thing can be done. This is not private property, and when water could pose a problem down the road ,it is very smart to go ahead with a project such as this. Do we wish to ignore the state and be liable as a township to fix a mess as a result? Based on the condition of our schools, I think some of us just might prefer that .Penny wise - pound foolish.
Sal Petoia December 02, 2011 at 12:19 PM
Scott The reservoir dam is also an earthen one. Does that mean that we'll need to do a replacement of that at some point simply because of the DEP's concerns? The reservoir does have a liner which helps, but wouldn't close monitoring of earthen dams make more sense than spending money that may not be necessary at this point? I know we are beholden to what the state dictates, but some things seem unreasonable. Would you agree?
Scott Pezarras December 02, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Sal You would have to contact the DEP on that one.I not sure what their mindset was behind the decision to go with a concrete spillway.
Scott Pezarras December 02, 2011 at 01:39 PM
Sal Yes I do agree with your logic, but you and I know laws and regulations are not always logical. Look at Davis-Bacon it creates higher costs for taxpayers to build any project to be built because we have to pay prevailing wage regardless of whther the vendor is a union shop or not. Does it make sense?
Concerned Brick Citizen December 02, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Commoncents... I enjoy pissing and moaning, but like I always stated I will give positive reinforcement when it is due. Sorry I don't have any faith in Birdsall due to personal experience. I know I may entertain or annoy with my commments. The Patch is a great source of entertainment versus sitting in front of a TV or wasting time in other ways. Consider this a reality show in text. What goes on here (The Brick Patch) affects all of us directly. But on a positive note: The best solution and fix would be to drain the lake, channel the water through a series of pipes into the bay. – Thus the water would be less polluted with no fertilizers, oils, pesticides and other bad run off. Fill in the land and build another shopping plaza or put up condos. Make this land a tax ratable instead of a tax drain. This has been done before in Brick I believe… The former Cost Cutters’ plaza.
Sal Petoia December 02, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Scott Okay... we can agree that sometimes things don't make sense. But if the job has to be done, why doesn't the county have to kick in? When the dam failed the last time, it was Brick Blvd (a county road) that incurred the most damage. Seems to me that they should have a stake in this as well.
Brokernj December 02, 2011 at 09:46 PM
If we have to spend the money. Wonder if it could be a small hyfro-electric that generates electric and some money too! Maybe theres a subsidized program to offset that cost too?

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